Elevating low-effort engagement to cultivate stronger community commitment: A study of social capital within Instagram's brand community

Agung Artha Kusuma, Adi Zakaria Afiff, Gita Gayatri, Sri Rahayu Hijrah Hati


Purpose: This study aimed to analyze the role of social capital in enhancing the engagement of community members, specifically transitioning them from low-effort participation to higher levels of commitment toward the community.

Design/methodology: This study presents the results derived from a quantitative analysis of 483 participants across diverse automotive brand communities found on Instagram.

Findings: Based on the foundation of social capital theory, this research enquires into the effects of shared relational elements of social capital on the commitment of members to communities. The results indicate that when members perceive an adequate degree of social trust and adhere to a recognized norm of reciprocity, there is a notable influence on the potential for heightened commitment to the community.

Research limitations/implications: This study solely focused on a specific type of social media, underscoring the prominent role of visual presentation style as the primary approach in content creation. As a result, this has a notable impact on the mechanism of social interaction among users.

Originality/value: In visually oriented settings such as Instagram, the barriers to participating in social interactions are noticeably reduced. Consequently, activities that require only minimal engagement effort have a higher probability of evolving into more profound and intensified forms of social exchange among community members. This, in turn, greatly facilitates the cultivation of social trust and the establishment of a norm of reciprocity.


Social capital, social media, online brand community, visual content

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3926/ic.2443

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience